Latency is the answer?

I think we all know that computers get slower over time.  It could be dust or aging parts.  There’s also the operating system issue.  If your computer gets really slow, the best solution is to reinstall the operating system and starting fresh.

At least until the next time.

Around here, I’ve had some observations.

I have one computer – a Sony VAIO that dual boots Windows 10 and Linux Mint.  Windows 10 recently became totally unusable and I took the hammer out and did a fresh restore to it.  It did come back and is now usable again although it does have its moments in latency when it’s noticeably slow between the time a key is pressed and the character shows up on the screen.

This computer also boots into Linux Mint which is considerably quicker.  I have installed two user interfaces on it – Cinnamon and Mate.  The general word on the web is that Cinnamon is newer and fuller featured.  It can also be slower to respond than Mate.  Consequently, I tend to use Mate more often.

I have another computer – a Chromebook that runs Google Chrome (obviously) and also Android.  On the Android side of things, I use the Opera and Firefox browser and both of them seem to be a bit faster than the Chrome side.

All of this leads to a ramble about choosing the right tool for the right device to do the right job.  I always attributed the differences to operating system – for example, under Windows, I run a virus checker and you know that it’s doing its thing in the background and so does consume resources.  When you look at resources used, it’s not uncommon to see multiple things with sometimes strange names doing things that take resources.

When things get too bad, I upgrade.

It’s just the way that I do things.  Then, I read this article.

Computer latency: 1977-2017

It starts …

I’ve had this nagging feeling that the computers I use today feel slower than the computers I used as a kid. As a rule, I don’t trust this kind of feeling because human perception has been shown to be unreliable in empirical studies, so I carried around a high-speed camera and measured the response latency of devices I’ve run into in the past few months. Here are the results:

It’s an interesting read and offers an interesting theory…

And then there’s this –

Design flaw found in Intel chips; fix causes them to slow: report

What’s a user to do?  How do you handle a computer that gets slow?


OTR Links 01/04/2018

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.